The NBA trade deadline is less than two weeks away, and the Toronto Raptors are expected to make a splash. The underperforming team is currently holding a 22-28 record, placing them 12th in the East. Numerous rumors are swirling about potential moves they might make to get back on track, with three players at the forefront.
Three Toronto Raptors Who Could Be Traded at the Deadline
Fred VanVleet has reportedly garnered plenty of interest from teams, namely the Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers, Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Orlando Magic. As of late, he’s been on a hot streak, putting up 28.3 PPG over his last six games. However, VanVleet’s overall performance has dipped this season, averaging 19.3 PPG, 6.4 APG, 4.3 RPG, and 1.6 SPG. His shooting efficiency is also down, converting just 39.4% of his shots from the field and 34.6% from deep. His inadequate scoring and decision-making are frustrating at times for Toronto’s offense.
The team desperately needs reliable shooters, as they’ve had the recurring problem of long stretches of scoring droughts. Also, their field goal (45.2%) and three-point (33.4%) percentages both rank 28th in the league, but trading VanVleet could bring in some sharpshooting guards.
Even if the Raptors choose to keep the point guard, they risk losing him in the offseason. VanVleet can opt of his contract and test free agency, which he is reportedly expected to do. If this is what he’s trending toward, it may be best to trade him while they can get something in return.
The Raptors have reportedly already received a huge offer for OG Anunoby. Per the Toronto Star’s Bruce Arthur, one team offered three first-round picks for the forward, which they turned down.
Toronto has a steep asking price for the 25-year-old, which could be difficult for some teams to meet. Anunoby won’t hit free agency until 2025, so if any offers don’t sway them, then they still retain a valuable player. The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor previously reported that league sources doubted Anunoby or Pascal Siakam would be traded unless the return was enormous (along the lines of some unprotected first-round picks or young players of near-equal talent). This indicates that if they do trade him, they’ll likely be looking at receiving some excellent assets.
According to Toronto radio personality Bob McCown, Anunoby wants out of Toronto. If this is the case, it shouldn’t be too hard to find him a home, especially with Anunoby just scratching the surface of his potential and having a Defensive Player of the Year-worthy season.
Anunoby has been one of the few players keeping the Raptors’ defense afloat. He’s tied for second in the league in steals (2.1) and first in deflections (3.9) per game. He’s also one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA and an excellent two-way player. This season he’s averaging 16.9 PPG along with 2 APG and 5.5 RPG.
Gary Trent Jr.
Recent reports have indicated Gary Trent Jr. and Toronto are open to re-signing. Like VanVleet, he is also able to join the free agency pool this offseason. Unless he isn’t willing to return, then it would make more sense to trade him now. Still, his name has been appearing in trade talks since last year’s deadline, and per multiple reports, teams have already been showing interest.
Trent Jr.’s future shows promise if the Raptors choose to keep him. He’s only continued to improve each season since they acquired him from the Portland Trail Blazers at the 2021 deadline. The guard is posting 18.6 PPG, 1.6 APG, 2.5 RPG, and 1.7 SPG and has developed into a stellar two-way player and has taken significant strides on defense. He’s had some scoring slumps, but he remains one of their best three-point shooters and guards.
The Last Word on the Toronto Raptors’ Options at the Trade Deadline
Toronto’s struggles with likely continue if they don’t make some much-needed changes. They won’t become playoff contenders this season, but it could be a central part of their rebuild around franchise pillar Scottie Barnes. It’s very unlikely they’ll trade him or Siakam, but it’s also possible some of their bench pieces could be moved.